EUROsociAL, the European Commission cooperation programme, organized the Ministerial Conference “Improving the effectiveness of prison policies in Latin America: effective reintegration of individuals in conflict with the law” in San José, Costa Rica.
Foto de familia de la Conferencia Ministerial en Costa RicaGroup photo of the Ministerial Conference in Costa Rica
On 15th and 16th December, representatives of the Ministries of Justice and Latin America prison authorities and international experts met in San José, Costa Rica to jointly address the prison issue, a problem that is gaining importance on the Latin American agenda because it poses challenges related to administration and security in the countries of the region.
In the Ministerial Conference “Improving the effectiveness of prison policies in Latin America: effective reintegration of individuals in conflict with the law” organized by the EUROsociAL Programme, financed by the European Union and managed by the FIIAPP, the participants included ministers, deputy ministers and heads of prison institutions from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.
The President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, attended on the opening day and had some words for the attendees: “socio-occupational reintegration policies for individuals deprived of liberty must be seen as a social policy, as social as others such as education and healthcare. We should understand that the transition from incarceration to living in society must be underpinned by recognition of the value of this individual as a person and also by the understanding of society to reincorporate this person after serving his or her sentence. Moreover, our countries cannot afford the luxury of losing a single good idea, including ones from these men, women and young people. When we talk about socio-occupational reintegration policies for individuals deprived of liberty, we are also talking about democracy, co-existence and equity”.
The Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General of Development and Cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean – EuropeAid, Jolita Butkevi?iene, had a message for the conference attendees: “it’s necessary to situate the issue of reintegration of individuals deprived of liberty at the heart of prison policies, promoting a shared approached centred on socio-occupational reintegration as a means of limiting recidivism, preventing violence, and promoting social inclusion in this collective”.
The Justice area is in charge of the project “Social reintegration of convicted individuals with special attention to the occupational aspect of reintegration”, which this conference is a part of, coordinated by France Expertise Internationale (FEI) as the coordinating partner and the Conference of Ministers of Justice of the Ibero-American Countries (COMJIB) and the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (OIJJ) as operational partners.